What are the best messaging apps

The best Whatsapp alternatives: Signal, Telegram, Threema etc.

Thomas Joos, Hans-Christian Dirscherl, Ralf Buchner

Do you want to get away from Whatsapp? We present the best messengers as an alternative to Whatsapp. The messengers can also be used in parallel.

EnlargeThe best messengers in comparison.
© fizkes / Shutterstock.com

WhatsApp has been part of Facebook since 2014. Some time ago Whatsapp asked its users to agree to its new terms of use. Whatsapp was very clumsy. For many users, this is the starting signal to finally say goodbye to Whatsapp and switch to another messenger for iOS and Android that does not belong to Facebook (which also has Instagram). We present the best Whatsapp alternatives.

EnlargeFor a transitional period, you can use several messengers in parallel. Until a sufficient number of your contacts have also switched.

Tip: The various messenger services can of course also be used in parallel. This enables an unproblematic changeover.

Signal: Elon Musk and Edward Snowden recommend this messenger

In addition to Telegram, the also free “Signal” app is one of the best-known alternatives to WhatsApp. Just because of the recommendation by Elon Musk, the app was recently extremely popular. Edward Snowden has also been using the service for years. In Signal, all chats and phone calls are end-to-end encrypted. Photos and videos can also be sent encrypted.

Reading tip:This is how the switch from WhatsApp to Signal works.

Advantages: Signal is open source, that is, its source code can be inspected. Signal's source code is available on GitHub. This significantly increases security, as it allows other developers to check at any time whether there are security gaps and can send suggestions directly to Signal if improvements are made. WhatsApp also uses the encryption developed by the signal manufacturers (Open Whisper Systems). However, nobody knows whether the WhatsApp developers have built back doors after all.

Disadvantage: Even if more and more users are switching from WhatsApp to alternatives, Signal is not yet very widespread, so that the contact list for many WhatsApp changers is still quite empty.

Signal is suitable for these users

Signal is of interest to users who focus on maximum security. There are fewer options for this, such as status messages or comprehensive chat backups. Signal (currently) has fewer functions than WhatsApp and in most cases many WhatsApp contacts of users are more with Telegram than with Signal.

Download Signal for free on Google Play

Download Signal for free from the App Store

Telegram: cloud-based messaging service

Alongside Signal and Threema, Telegram is one of the best-known alternatives for WhatsApp. The service works similarly to WhatsApp, the operation is also similar. Authentication takes place via the telephone number and Telegram also recognizes whether contacts on the smartphone are already members of the service and shows them in the app, just like WhatsApp.

Telegram offers end-to-end encryption. Each user receives a small cloud storage space in which conversations can be saved. But permanent deletion is also possible. Telegram is one of the most secure services.

Telegram focuses on groups. Their administration and use is easier for many users and offers more options. Telegram is more intelligent when it comes to notifying users of new group messages and offers more setting options. Those who join groups can suppress their own telephone number. Bots can start surveys in groups and integrate images and gifs more easily.

WhatsApp also enables the connection to desktops, but the smartphone must be connected to the Internet and the computer via the network. At this point, Telegram offers a desktop application that works independently of the smartphone.

Advantages: Telegram stores chats, data and media on a cloud server. From the point of view of data protectionists, this is initially irritating, but it has the advantage that users do not have to worry about backups. When you move to a new smartphone, the data is immediately there again. This also saves Telegram a lot of storage space.

However, it is also possible to create private chats in Telegram, the data of which remains encrypted on the end device.

Telegram also offers more settings than WhatsApp.

Disadvantage: A major disadvantage of Telegram is certainly that there are far fewer contacts to be found here than with WhatsApp. In addition, data protectionists are bothered by the fact that all data is stored on the cloud servers.

For these users, Telegram is ideal

Telegram is ideal for users who already know WhatsApp. In many cases, WhatsApp contacts are more likely to be with Telegram than with other services. If you want to switch from WhatsApp, you should first look at Telegram, but you can also use one of the other services at the same time.

Download Telegram for free on Google Play

Download Telegram for free from the App Store

Threema: Paid and secure WhatsApp alternative

Together with Signal, Threema is one of the safest alternatives to WhatsApp. The Threema manufacturers are based in Switzerland. The code is not open, as is the case with Signal, for example, but the messenger has a very good reputation for security.